The following outline describes how orthodontic emergencies/repairs are handled for patients wearing orthodontic appliances. Emergencies while wearing braces or other orthodontic appliances fall into two categories:
1) direct injuries to the mouth or teeth or
2) emergencies to orthodontic appliances.
Direct Injuries to the Mouth or Teeth
Following a direct injury to your mouth or teeth, whether undergoing orthodontic
care or not, you should be seen by your family dentist as soon as possible. Usually an
x-ray of the involved tooth or teeth, is needed to determine the extent of injury. If a
tooth has been knocked out, severely displaced or fractured, it is best to contact your
family dentist first, since we may not have the necessary materials needed to treat
these injuries. If orthodontic appliances are dislodged or displaced we will need to
replace or adjust them as soon as possible. Please call our office immediately after
seeing your family dentist. If you are unable to reach your family dentist or an alternate
emergency facility, call our office and we will assist you in locating someone to care for
Emergencies Related to Orthodontic Appliances
Broken or loose appliances may occur during your orthodontic care. If there is any
disturbance such as loose bands or broken or poking wires, call our office as soon as
possible so we can evaluate the urgency of the problem and schedule you to be seen
accordingly. If you need assistance outside business hours, please call our office and
our voice mail will give you instructions on what to do and whom to call. In the
interim, the following are helpful hints to remedy some of the problems you may
encounter until you can be seen in our office:
• If a wire is irritating your mouth, cover it with orthodontic wax or tuck it
under using a blunt object like a pencil eraser or a Q-tip.
• A bent headgear facebow or removable appliance that is not fitting well is
not to be worn until it can be properly adjusted in our office.
After Office Hours
Our office is generally open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays and
emergency time is held open during each day so that we may schedule you as soon as
possible during normal clinic hours.
Normally scheduled appointments are altered only when the emergency is within 2
weeks of the next schedule appointment and time is available to do the next
Any patient who calls after hours is referred to Dr, Santucci’s cell number.
Upon Dr. Santucci’s absence, the orthodontic assistant is available to assist patients.